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It's official, Telstra has announced the HTC TITAN 4G, which will be the first Windows Phone to make use of the faster network speeds. After weeks (if not months) of speculation and anticipation from Australian Windows Phone fans, the carrier has finally released details surrounding the HTC monster device. It's actually the HTC TITAN II that launched in the U.S., but will be branded as the HTC TITAN 4G.

This is great news for those who are awaiting for a 4G Windows Phone as this beast of a smartphone not only packs 4G speeds, but a 16MP camera, which we positively reviewed. Will Irving, Group Managing Director, Telstra Business comments:

"Windows Phone fans will soon be able to surf the mobile web, respond to email and access work documents faster than before on the HTC Titan4G – Australia’s first 4G Windows Phone which launches next Tuesday on the Telstra Mobile Network.” In a clear pitch to business users and enterprise customers. Australian small businesses have embraced smartphones to help them work where they want and to stay responsive to customers and new business opportunities.

The launch of the nation’s first 4G Windows Phone means small businesses can perform even more advanced tasks from the palms of their hands – like handling larger emails on the go, capturing and sending high-resolution images and video  and accessing emerging cloud-hosted services direct from their smartphone screen.  Best of all, Windows Phone is incredibly easy to navigate and immediately familiar to anyone who uses Microsoft’s popular Office software."

So we know it's the bees-knees, what about pricing? You can get your own for free on the $79 Freedom Connect plan (after using an included MRO bonus), which includes $800 worth of voice calls and MMS, unlimited SMS and 2GB data. The phone will be available outright for $888, should plans not be up your street.

Business customers can pick up the TITAN 4G for just $8/mo after using their MRO bonus on the $70 Business Mobile Advantage plan (24 months). This includes unlimited SMS, free voice calls to eligible mobiles, and 1GB data. 

Source: WPDownUnder

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Although the Samsung Focus 2 coming on AT&T is not the most exciting phone out there for our more hardcore users, the device is certainly a looker with the glossy white and curved edges.

Microsoft's Ben Rudolph got his hands on the device about a week ago and gives it a thumbs up, noting that the 4G LTE and sharp 5MP camera make the device a good choice for many people. With a leaner design, typing is suppose to be nicer with no "hotspots" for hand-cramping and the 4" Super AMOLED screen should hold up nicely for most users these days, especially at a nicely priced $49.99.

In turn, he's thrown up a couple of photos of the new Focus 2 which shows off a nice design and we can even compare it to the original Focus.  Head to the Windows Phone Blog to see more pics.

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In late 2011, one of the sticking points for Verizon Wireless in broadly adopting Windows Phone was the lack of 4G LTE support. AT&T also took issue with this missing feature as strategically they are looking to offload network congestion to their new high-speed spectrum.

There was just one problem: the Windows Phone OS was not set to get LTE support till Windows Phone 8 aka "Apollo" in late in 2012.  That's a long wait as six to nine months in smartphones is an eternity these days, especially when you're in a distant third in the smartphone race.

So how are we on the cusp of not one but two LTE Windows Phones in early 2012? We're told AT&T approached and asked them if they could bump up that feature set earlier. Microsoft in turn was receptive to such a request, much like how Microsoft Corporate VP Joe Belfiore or Brandon Watson take great strides to carefully listen to you, the customer.

To get support into the OS, Microsoft reportedly took members off of Apollo and re-appointed them to work on LTE for Mango Refresh (RC2) in order to meet market demands. Throw in Qualcomm, who has worked hard with Microsoft on chipset compatibility and Nokia, HTC and Samsung who were all eager to get more high end devices in the US and you have AT&T's new 4G Windows Phone lineup launching earlier than planned.

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WPDownUnder has reported that Telstra staff have received confirmation of the HTC TITAN II making its way to the Australian shores and onto the network. With the Lumia 800 being stocked at multiple sources across the country, as well as on Telstra itself, the situation is starting to pick up with regards to available hardware.

At an event last night, it was revealed that the HTC TITAN II (as well as another unnamed Android 4G handset) will be launching on Telstra this coming April. Even some lucky members of staff attending the event got the chance to take home a Lumia 800 with door prizes being handed out. 

WPDownUnder expects the TITAN II to be available on the $79 /mo Freedom Connect plan, using the MRO bonus (no handset fee), and would total $1896 across the 24 month contract. Although, the site notes that should the HTC Velocity be anything to go by, then the TITAN II may also be available on the cheaper $59 plan, with a $5 /mo MRO free, totalling $1536.

What's more is that Nokia has reported that they're still in talks surrounding the introduction of the 4G international Lumia 900, which would further strengthen Australia's range of Windows Phones. Who would have thought last year that we would be seeing prosperous moves from both Microsoft and manufacturers in Australia?

Source: WPDownUnder; thanks Sheeds for the tip!

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Three UK has announced plans to implement "4G" on their network, but instead of putting LTE on trial, for now the carrier is favouring DC-HSPA (the DC means dual-channel). In theory customers should be able to witness speeds up to 42Mbps, and with Three's "unlimited" data plans this will certainly excite smartphone owners.

Three currently operates a HSPA+ network that offers speeds of up to 21Mbps and is set to roll out DC-HSPA this coming summer. What's interesting to note is the timing of this announcement with the international Lumia 900 (supporting the "almost 4G" standard) being announced at MWC this week - coincidence?

Three still plans to introduce LTE through testing in the future so we'll happily take DC-HSPA for now.

Via: Slashgear; 4G image via Shutterstock

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The Lumia 710, a budget low cost Windows Phone, has been featured in an article over at Yahoo! recommending good free smartphones (tied to carrier terms). There are six handsets in total: iPhone 3G, LG Phoenix, Droid Pro, LG Enlighten, LG Rumor Touch and the Nokia Lumia 710

As noted in the article, the 710 sports 4G connectivity, a 1.4Ghz chip, 3.7" screen, 5MP camera and the latest version of the Windows Phone OS. Looking at the other competitor handsets, it illustrates just how aggressive Nokia is with pricing their Lumia family of smartphones.

Soruce: Yahoo!thanks soulzero for the heads up!

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Nokia has recently sold 450 patents to Sisvel, an italian Intellectual property manager. Of those, 350 patents spanning across 33 families encapsulate key wireless technologies like GSM, UMTS/WCDMA, and LTE. Although Nokia nor Sisvel are going into details of the deal, it's expected that Nokia will retain the rights to use these patents, and likely collect on some of the ongoing royalties, but Sisvel will likely get a cut of royalties in exchange for actively protecting the patents in the courtroom. 

It might seem natural that Nokia hold onto these patents with an iron fist and squeeze every penny-worth of royalties out of them, but legal costs can add up; by incentivizing an outside source to do the trolling while possibly still getting some of the royalties themselves, Nokia will be able to focus their resources (both legal and monetary) on Windows Phone. It will be interesting to see how aggressive Sisvel is in protecting the patents, and if they're able to lock down any big licensing deals that Nokia wasn't able to. The last big case Nokia won was against Apple, so I have a hard time imagining that Nokia has left any stone unturned. 

Source: IntoMobile

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The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show has started with a roar. AT&T holds an annual developer summit that leads into the CES show. To our surprise, AT&T's President and CEO Ralph de la Vega was joined by several Windows Phone dignitaries.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, HTC CEO Peter Chou, and Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop joined de la Vega to announce that AT&T will be bringing the first 4G LTE Windows Phones to the U.S. Market. AT&T will start by offering two phones that are 4G LTE capable, the HTC Titan II and what we all expect to be the Nokia Lumia 900.

Describing how the 4G LTE network performs on the HTC Titan II, Peter Chou stated it was "Blazingly fast".  No pricing or availability information was announced on either of the pending 4G LTE devices.

While nothing specific was mentioned about the upcoming AT&T Nokia Windows Phone, Stephen Elop referred everyone to Nokia's afternoon press event for all the details on this new Windows Phone. We'll be in attendance and bring you all the news as soon as we can.

Source: AT&T

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File this under both excited and under-whelming.

We heard about HTC launching the Radiant a few days ago with the idea that it was essentially the HTC Titan but with a 4G LTE radio on board and destined for everyone's favorite, AT&T. Pocketnow have posted what is purportedly the first picture of what this device will look like.

As it turns out, it looks just like your Titan but allegedly thicker for a larger battery. larger front-facing camera lens (which is sorely needed) and the right side buttons are skewed towards the bottom more. Not exactly huge changes but those little types of refinements can go a long ways in making the Titan even better (and HTC's button placements do lack behind Samsung's, in our opinion). Finally, the Radiant is suppose to go to Australia's Telstra too--so that's some positive new for those outside the US.

The Radiant is rumored to be shown off at CES next week and we have a few events scheduled with HTC, so we're sure to get the full skinny on this one folks. The question for you though is this: Is a Titan with LTE on board going to make you trade up?

Source: Pocketnow

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According to a report published over at BGR, HTC is set to launch a 4G LTE Windows Phone in early 2012, on AT&T. According to 'trusted sources' (get the pinch of salt ready), HTC will be releasing fewer handsets next year, leaving the release schedule "shockingly quiet" (makes sense to focus on quality). Two new devices were revealed, a flagship Android handset and the manufacturer's first LTE Windows Phone. The latter is questionably going to be Titan-like, sporting a 4.7" screen.

The new 4G LTE Windows Phone is slated for an apparent release on February 5th. Should the rumours prove to be true, as well as the ones surrounding the upcoming Nokia LTE device, 2012 will be an exciting year for the platform to move on up. Of course if a 4G LTE Titan is right around the corner, how many of you will be a little annoyed that you just bought the HSPA+ version? Needless to say, CES in January should be interesting...we'll be there to cover it live.

Let us know your thoughts below.

Source: BGR, thanks TheWeeBear for the tip!

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T-Mobile has an awesome sale starting up on December 17th, and ending on the 18th. For just two days, 4G handsets stocked by the carrier will be available for purchase for $0 after a mail-in-rebate. A few Windows Phones are included in this deal, the HTC Radar and HTC HD7. Handsets require a two-year contract (qualifying Value Plan) to be taken out, but for Christmas, a brand new 4G Windows Phone with a packed plan is a perfect present.

Source: T-Mobile

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There's an interesting discussion going on in the WPCentral Forums concerning HSDPA speeds on the AT&T HTC Titan. Forum Member gtg465x is witnessing faster bandwidth speeds on Android based phone than his HTC Titan. Speeds of 2-3Mbps are being witnessed on the Titan while the Android phones are experiencing 3-4Mbps. In areas where there is advanced backhaul in place the Titan tests at 4Mbps while Android jumps to 8-10Mbps. Likewise, Rob41664 & jawesome are reporting faster speeds with the Focus S over their Titans. According to the discussion, 

After extensive testing, I'm quite positive AT&T is artificially limiting network speed on their version of the Titan by limiting the HSDPA feature set to category 8. The phone hardware of course is able to support HSDPA category 10 features.  

Turns out AT&T has a history of doing this, specifically with the LG Thrill, a "4G" phone set at category 8. People evidently bumped it to 10 and nearly doubled their data throughput. The theoretical maximum throughput for category 10 is 14.1Mbps. The theoretical maximum throughput of category 8 is 7.2Mbps.

So the question is: What is the HSDPA category of AT&T's Windows Phones? We can't actually know, because unlike Anroid, we can't see let alone alter that information. Still, we wanted to see if the Titan was slower than the Focus S.

Dan (NYC) and I (Alabama) both tested out AT&T Titans up against the Samsung Focus S and T-Mobile's HTC Radar (we don't have any Android's here). We both used Bandwidth for the testing and the tests were conducted indoors with the phone untouched during testing. Here's our test results (first number is download speeds, second is upload speeds).


  Dan's Titan George's Titan Focus S T-Mobile Radar Test 1 2.29  / .91 2.39 / .57 2.18 / .46 3.73 / 1.01 Test 2 2.06 / .84 2.34 / .54 2.46 / .42 3.86 / 1.10 Test 3 2.23 / .88 2.45 / .78 2.63 / .47 4.33  / .47

From these results, we so no difference between the Focus S and the Titan--the main concern of the original forum thread. It might not have been a fair fight comparing the Radar with the AT&T Windows Phones but it is clear that AT&T's "4G" speeds pale in comparison to T-Mobiles--important if you're considering a new network. Moreover, it is obvious that AT&T "4G" Windows Phones don't really get very fast speeds, whatever their settings may be.

However, if Android devices are testing at 8-10Mbps, or even 4Mbps, could AT&T be dialing back bandwidth on Windows Phone in general with a lower HSDPA category? Or is it something else?

Thanks goes out to Tommy for tipping us on this!

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TMobile has announced plans to release their 4G HTC Radar for $99 on contract on November 2nd. The handset comes with free shipping and packs some impressive specifications. If that isn't enough, it will pack HTC Watch and T-Mobile TV for TV and movies on the go. For a quick reminder of the insides:

  • 1Ghz processor
  • 8GB storage
  • 5MP camera with F2.2 lens (FF camera)
  • Windows Phone Mango

Source: TMobile Shop, via: @TMobile

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AT&T Focus S 4G revealed in photos

The Windows Phone Blog didn't want to seem to wait for leakers to do their job, so they've gone ahead and published some new photos of the highly anticipated Samsung Focus S.

Specifications on the device are expected to be pretty high end:

  • 1.5GHz MSM8255 CPU
  • 1.3MP Front facing camera
  • 8MP Rear camera
  • 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus sceen
  • "4G" aka HSDPA+

Pricing and availabilty, unfortunately, have not yet been announced. But with the EOL of the Surround and Quantum, you can bet it's right around the corner.

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In a fairly candid interview with the Seattle Times, Andy Lees, President of Microsoft's Windows Phone Division, answers some questions about Windows Phone, Mango, OEMs, advertising and more.

There are some typical responses, like on the iPhone 4S (see review at TiPb) since it's only one form factor, it doesn't offer consumers a choice. Meanwhile, Android is "chaotic" with some phones being excellent and others being sub-par, resulting in a mishmash of offerings on that platform.

Regarding advertising, it seems in the U.S. it is mostly up to the carriers with some OEM involvement whereas in the rest of the world, OEMs have more freedom to define their phone and experience. In fact, the strategy doesn't sound too different than what Microsoft has previously done in the past--which may not bode too well:

Lees: "In the United States, the operators own the vast majority of the retail through which phones are purchased. That's not true in many other parts of the world. I would say the OEM is disproportionately important in most parts of the world. And in the U.S., it's probably a balance between the OEM and the operator."

Q: So are there commercials that Microsoft is producing that they will all use?

Lees: "What we want to do is allow each hardware manufacturer to celebrate what's unique about their phone."

In other words, don't expect any Microsoft commercials or at least a broad campaign.

The other interesting bit on 4G LTE, which Microsoft seems keen on offering sooner than later, presumably with Tango:

Lees: "All the phones in the U.S. are 4G. What's interesting with this release, instead of all the phones coming out on the same day, there will be a season that will carry on into the next year that will include LTE phones as well."

Finally, Lees certainly has realistic ideas about Windows Phone. While we think 2012 could be a big year for the platform, he's taking a more long view approach, keeping expectations in check:

Q: Is this going to be your breakout year, do you think?

Lees: "A few things: The Xbox will be updated in November. The UI (user interface) is very similar (to Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows 8) with the tiles and panoramas. Windows 8 is going to help. In terms of just the phone, having the choice of hardware and the quality of the experience are going to be accelerants. Over the next 12, 18, 24 months, I can see a lot of stars lining up."

Read more at the Seattle Times here.

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Andy Lees recently spoke about the current state of Windows Phone and the direction that the hardware that carries it is heading.  He confirmed that both dual-core processors and 4G LTE are on the way.  It has been known for a while now that Qualcomm and ST-Ericsson would be bringing dual-core computing to WP7 devices.  When he was asked why they weren't already, Lees defended the decision saying,

“They’re all single core, but I suspect that they will be faster in usage than any dual-core phone that you put against it, and that’s the point." 

He went on to explain that it was a  practical decision to stick to single-core CPUs until the operating system was set to take advantage of anything greater.  With Microsoft trying to break into the mobile phone marketplace, it makes sense to keep costs down on handsets if it doesn't affect performance. 

The motivation behind not including 4G support appeared to be equally as pragmatic. 

“The first LTE phones were big and big (users) of the battery, and I think it’s possible to do it in a way that is far more efficient, and that’s what we will be doing,” Lees explained. 

Although this has merit, it can certainly be argued that Microsoft missed a chance to capitalize on the 4G marketing bandwagon early on.  Various carriers have all seen success with their 4G Android offerings and WP7 could have been part of that.  But Lees sticks to the "slow and steady" approach:

"I think that what our strategy is is to put things in place that allow us to leapfrog, and I think that’s how we’ve gone from worse browser to the best browser, and I think the same is true with hardware."

The first crop of 4G WP7 phones are coming very soon, so we'll see how it goes.

Source: AllThingsD

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When T-Mobile finally announced the Radar 4G, one thing that was missing was a firm release date. We knew it cleared the FCC and we've seen it videoed already, but all we had for a time-frame was "Holiday season".

Well, consider this your clarification. The HTC Radar 4G is set to launch on T-Mobile on Wednesday, November 2nd--just under 30 days from now. Price is a sane and expected $199 on contract.

Of course, we have a feeling that a lot of you will be griping about the lack of a proper HD7 successor--notably the Titan missing from the lineup. Sadly, this launch lineup adds nothing to that disappointment, although we have to admit, the Radar 4G is a very nice phone. In fact, we're going to advise a lot of you to at least play with it in the store/get a hands on before you outright dismiss it, because its screen and build quality are some of the best we've ever seen--no joke.

Source: TmoNews

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Good news for those on T-Mobile wanting the HTC Radar 4G--the device has successfully cleared the FCC, meaning it's in T-Mobile's hands now to approve it on their network and get it stocked for shipping.

The 3.8" screen, "4G" speeds and slick front and rear cameras make this is a solid middle of the road offering on T-Mo, especially with that white eye-catching color. The only other interesting info from the FCC docs that we can see is the model number: P106110. So if you see that number anywhere else, you know what phone its referring to.

Hopefully with those Mango updates coming this week, T-Mobile will get this phone out the door sooner than later. AT&T has the Focus S FCC cleared as well, so it looks like these two are aiming for the same time frame.

Source: FCC; via TmoNews

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Look at that, just a few hours after we posted about the Radar 4G existing and then speculating that it was destined for T-Mobile, pics of that device come forward. And we were right.

There's not too much else to know: it's a 3.8" screen device with a metal unibody design, 5MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front-facing one for video. While the Euro version is just 3G, those in the U.S. will be getting 4G as seen in the shot above. No word on release date or pricing, but obviously this thing is close--TmoNews is hearing "October/early November". This is the only confirmed Mango device for T-Mobile so far, but perhaps there is room for a Titan as well?

See more pics at TmoNews.

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This morning we posted a few new device names that have been documented using the app "I'm a WP7". Those devices include the HTC Ultimate, HTC Radar 4G and the Samsung Haden.

While looking at Elbert Perez's stats for his collection of 13 games, we can at least verify that the HTC Radar 4G pops up there as well, lending more credence to the idea that this device is real. Once again, it's not too difficult to imagine such a device--just pop in a new Qualcomm chipset for the 4G and you're good to go. And since Mango supports 4G, this is a no brainer for US markets.

The big question of course is who is this for: T-Mobile, Sprint or Verizon? We're now thinking T-Mobile as we remembered this post.

Source: Occasional Gamer

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